A set of ideas aimed at understanding the development of brain and cognitive ability of children. Of every opportunity that arises at every moment of everyday to foster the development of children, increasing their linguistic abilities, motor, sensory and intellectual.

ASD - Help to connect socially

A growing number of individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are now educated in mainstream settings. The difficulties they have in relation to communication, social interaction and flexibility of thought can create problems for them in a school environment where sometimes their needs are not fully understood. A strong reaction to sensory stimulation can also make school a very stressful place. It is essential therefore that all school staff are aware of these needs in order to alleviate stress and maximize learning potential.

Many children with autism love to run, pick up objects, and move in the outside environment, although they fixate on these objects, reflections of light, shapes, and motions. The therapist or family member can use that interest to help the child connect socially.

First Contact
In phase one, a child with autism may rock back and forth, singing endlessly, chanting rhythms, humming, watching lights, following images and reflections in the outside environment. In order to avoid eye contact and interactions with others, a child with autism may pace around the playground, spin in circles, and collect objects and place them in a row or nearby; he allows no one to touch them. The phase one child lacks the ability to use language to engage and recruit others, produces no language in full sentences to express ideas and emotions, and uses objects to manipulate without the intention of play with others. He cannot sequence ideas to create a narrative form that tells a story in play. He is isolated in a limited, nonsocial world with little access to the world of relationships. 

Strategy 1 : Experience What the Child Experiences 
Join the child in his own experience by listening to and echoing his sounds, as well as those in the environment. Move closer to him in a calm, playful way, making comments about any actions or sounds in the situation. Sometimes have to move right next to the child and offer a toy or an object like a feather. If he seems anxious, sings repetitively, or exhibits negative behaviors like screaming, may have to wait to offer him an object. At other times need to remain more distant and stay silent before attempting to move near the child. In order for him to experience the feeling of being with another person, observe and wait, watching his gestures and sounds, even if he turns away.

Strategy 2 : Move into the Child’s Play Space 
A typical child will create a space where he wants to play, move objects, and interact with a peer. The typical child will move his body so that he faces the other child, places his objects in the center or near the center of his play area, and begins play actions toward the other child, or toward the main object of interest. The play space is the area that surrounds the two children and defines where they’ll play. One child might move a toy horse toward a barn that he places in the center of the space between himself and his peer.
While a typical child creates this play space, a child with autism will have no idea how to define this area, or where it begins or ends to include others. The child with autism may have sensory issues, may overreact to sounds and to visual stimuli, and become confused in a disorganized area. In contrast to the typical child, his play space may consist of one small area surrounding him; it includes no one else. He will protest if anyone gets too close to him or moves his toys; he doesn’t have the concept of how to create a place to play with another child.
One way for this play space to include others is to place a small rug or mat in front of the child, and to set up simple objects that may interest the child. Since children with autism are visual learners, the visual space needs to be clear and not too busy with too many objects only one or two objects of high interest. Another way to introduce a more flexible play area is to enter his limited play space gradually.
Use an object that is identical to the child’s object, playing with actions near the child and slowly moving the object closer to him. This act of moving into a play space is complex and takes time; however, it is the beginning of helping the child join and feel the presence of another person. This technique is more effective than taking a child’s toy away, which usually causes screaming and tantrums. However, in some cases, touching the object or asking for it is another way to engage with an isolated child who refuses to acknowledge another’s presence.

Strategy 3 : Listen to Each Detail of the Parents’Stories
Parents’ descriptions of their child’s behavior often gives opportunity to support them as they begin the long and difficult intervention process.
By listening the description of his son’s behavior:
- screaming when someone comes near him, hoarding his trains -
Hears both his desperate need to relate to his child and child’s efforts to control and preserve his comforting environment in the corner. Understand and openly acknowledge this tension between the father and the son, joining him as he learns how to support the child.
The parents become the most important advocate and teacher for their child, since they are with their child more than any specialist. Parents often become experts on the methods and they know what methods work with their child. They need respect and support in this journey of helping their child. The progress of the child and the development of the relationship motivate parents to keep working. Sometimes the progress is slow and the therapist needs to support them during these times of discouragement. There will be times of frustration and times when a parent doesn’t understand what to do next. The therapist has to be honest about the progress, explain the goals, and support the parents in every session After see that the parents realize that we understand their frustrations and disappointment in their child, work on finding the best way to interrupt the child’s fixations on certain agendas, patterns of play, and particular objects. We do this work together.

Strategy 4 : Interrupt the Child's Fixed Patterns of Play
If a child continues to cry, have tantrums, and refuses to connect, or if he resists any contact, then try to be sensitive to the basic behavioral principles of rewarding the positive behavior and ignoring the negative. When prompting a child with sounds and words to get him to imitate, use a reinforcement such as a smile or gesture of approval to the child only if he is just beginning to whine or point or fuss about not getting an object, or if he doesn’t have the word or the sound in his vocabulary for the particular situation. In this case, engage in sound play with positive gestures and play with the child.
However, in some cases, if the child is about to go into a full tantrum or meltdown, must either leave the child alone or wait and ignore the behavior until he is quiet. Even if the child is only quiet for a few seconds, may reward him with praise or a positive word at that moment. try to find the delicate balance between giving the child a word or some positive sound play when he needs it, and ignoring behaviors that are completely inappropriate. As the parents watch, they learn when to reward the child with praise. Once parents see a tiny successful response from their child, they begin to have hope. They join us and we collaborate. Teach them to observe the child’s gestures (such as moving an object with intention); body language (such as moving closer to someone); or sound production (such as giggling) - so that they know whether their child wants to play.

Strategy 5 : Help the Child to Feel the Presence of Others by Using the Environment

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